Former State Legislator Shirley Smith Joins the 2022 Cuyahoga County Executive Race

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Shirley Smith - Ohio Statehouse
Ohio Statehouse
Shirley Smith

Shirley Smith, the former Ohio state senator who most recently ran for the congressional seat vacated by Marcia Fudge, has joined the race for Cuyahoga County Executive in 2022.

Smith's name appears on the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections 2022 candidate list, and in an interview with Ideastream Thursday, she confirmed that she would be seeking the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party's endorsement at a meeting of that body's executive committee later this month.

Smith failed to make much of a dent in last summer's congressional special election. Shontel Brown, who ultimately won the seat, and Nina Turner were the heavy favorites. They garnered 50% and 44% of the vote, respectively. No other candidate received more than 2%, and Smith came in fifth overall, behind Jeff Johnson and John Barnes. 

Smith served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1999-2006 and then, as many term-limited state legislators do, ran for a seat in the Ohio Senate, serving in that body from 2007-2014. 

Smith told Ideastream that she supported the candidacy of Maple Heights Mayor Annette Blackwell, who suspended her campaign shortly before Warrensville Heights Mayor Brad Sellers formally announced his candidacy last week. When Scene spoke with Blackwell, she said the decision to back out was hers, but that she was sorry a woman's voice would no longer be on the ticket.

Now there will be once again. 

On the Democratic side, Smith will be competing with Sellers and former University Circle Inc. top man Chris Ronayne. The Democratic winner will then face off against Republican Lee Weingart in the general election. 

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About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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